Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Examining ways to improve health care

Sedra Davis ’14 and Claudia D’Adamo ’13 are working with doctors, scientists and other students to research computational approaches to using vital-signs data to improve patient care.

In the United States, traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of injury-related deaths. Sedra Davis ’14 and Claudia D’Adamo ’13, along with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tom Armstrong, are hoping to change that. Through the use of technology, they are working to improve the chances for recovery in critically injured patients.

The three are examining vital-signs data to find common patterns across patients. These patterns will be used to alert health care providers about the need for medical intervention and to predict patient outcomes.

“Computing is changing the way that other disciplines approach asking and answering questions,” says Armstrong. “Opportunities like this provide experiences that will be useful regardless of the path Sedra and Claudia choose: graduate education, professional education, or industry.”

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A minute with…Jenny Brum ’12

Jenny Brum, a theatre studies and dance major, took a nontraditional route to study abroad and gained a great perspective on the world. Insightful seeing: “I lived on a 25,000-ton ship with about 600 other college students from around the country and around the world. The program is called Semester at Sea. We spent three and a half months circling the globe, stopping in 12 countries along the way. We set sail from Nassau, Bahamas, and made port in Roseau, Dominica; Manaus, Brazil; Takoradi, Ghana; Cape Town, South Africa; Port Louis, Mauritius; Chennai, India; Singapore; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Hong Kong, Beijing/Shanghai China; Taipei, Taiwan. We had classes while the ship was in transit and then had the opportunity to travel in port with our professors, seeing firsthand the topics we were learning about. For example, I took an ‘Abnormal Psychology’ class and went with my classmates to volunteer at mental health facilities in a number of the countries we visited. In addition to academic experiences, I had the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins in the Rio Negro, go on safari in Africa, hold a snake in Vietnam, and hike along the Great Wall of China. Additionally, while on the ship I had the chance to live with students and professors from all over the world. The experience of traveling to so many places and living on the ship in such a diverse community gave me an enormously increased global perspective. Instead of spending a full semester in one location and soaking up a single other culture, I got to experience several of the world’s vastly different cultures. Semester at Sea gave me a firsthand understanding of how the different countries of the world connect and compare. A huge emphasis of the curriculum was on the process of globalization and how it is shaping the world. The nature of the program also allowed me to form the kind of strong and deep friendships that only travel can produce.” Going with the flow: “I am very grateful for my time at Wheaton. I think it is a testament to the college that they were able to work with me so that I could do a program like Semester at Sea. It is not a Wheaton program, so the college and I had to do a lot of work looking into it and making sure that my academics and safety would meet Wheaton standards. I love that Wheaton is so student-oriented and willing to help students do what they love. I have encountered this kind of flexibility and understanding time and time again here.”

Professor and poet Sue Standing indulges the possibilities of language

Professor Sue StandingFor the fall dedication of the new Mars Center for Science and Technology, Professor of English Sue Standing wrote a poem (inspired by a musical composition by Professor Delvyn Case) in honor of the building. It was one of the highlights of the opening ceremonies and one of the many poems she has written and published over the years. A faculty member since 1979, she currently is writer-in-residence and coordinator of Wheaton’s creative writing program. She has published four collections of poems and has been featured in numerous journals, including the Atlantic Monthly, the Harvard Review, the Nation, Orion and most recently Ploughshares (“Self-Portrait”). Her short story “Fast Sunday” won a 2005 Pushcart Prize. She also has won grants from the Radcliffe Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright Foundation. The Quarterly recently asked her about her writing and her research.

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Math + dance + theater = a balanced life

One feature film.

Five main roles.

Three hundred actors auditioning.

It doesn’t take a math major to know that the odds of ending up on the big screen in this scenario aren’t the greatest.

But Trisha Carr ’08—a math major—went for it anyway. And it paid off.

She received one of the five main roles in the full-length independent feature film Brilliant Mistakes, which is scheduled to be released this summer. Although she has performed on stage for many years, this was her first try at a film role. She plays Erin Penney, a college-age girl whose sister, Gabby, gets into a horrible accident. The Salisbury Film production centers on Gabby’s fiancé, Marcus, and how he and Gabby’s family react to and cope with the accident.

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